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Cuomo urged to link casino gambling to campaign reform

There is a proposal to make some revenues

There is a proposal to make some revenues from legalized New York casinos, which would be subject to constitutional amendment, for use to fund public campaign financing. (Oct. 28, 2011) (Credit: Jason Andrew)

Self-styled government reformist Bill Samuels and state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) are putting an out-of-the-box proposal on the public table in advance of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's state-of-the-state address slated for Wednesday.

They called it a “grand bargain” by which some revenues from legalized New York casinos, which would be subject to constitutional amendment, would go to funding public campaign financing. Samuels notes that many lawmakers are reluctant to commit taxpayer funds to such a system, especially under current fiscal conditions.

But he notes that in the 1960s, the lottery was instituted -- more controversial at that time than casino gambling is now, he says -- with the proviso that money went to education. In this case, just the licensing fees paid by the casinos could pay for the reforms many in Albany say they wish to see.

“Let's get a win out of this deal,” Krueger said Sunday that can accomplish what both described as Cuomo's “previously-stated goal” of a matching-fund system for candidates to even playing fields in the manner of the current New York City system.

Full details of the proposal are linked here.

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